FSA register removals in decline
The FSA has received fewer applications for deauthorisation so far this year than in 2011, a request using the Freedom of Information Act has revealed.
The data showed there were 1872 applications for removal from the FSA register in 2010, 1376 in 2011 and 272 in 2012. The response showed there were 352 applications still under consideration.
While deauthorisation applications have declined, research by Financial Adviser has revealed that final notices for failure to pay fees or to submit a retail mediation activities return have increased.
In 2011 there were 14 final notices to cancel an advisory firm or adviser’s permission for failure to pay levies or complete a return, while there have been 42 so far this year.
The request also revealed it has took the FSA an average of 1.26 days to process deauthorisations during 2012, compared with 1.89 in 2011.
An FSA spokesman declined to comment when asked whether more advisers were not paying fees rather than applying to deauthorise, and whether any former advisers were being pursued for failure to pay.
Colin Jackson, director of Essex-based IFA Baronworth, said: “It is my understanding that if you want to leave the industry, you have to apply to the FSA to deregister. You cannot just shut your office up and walk away. You put yourself at risk by not going through the appropriate procedures.
Earlier this year IFA Nick Taylor complained about the time it took to be removed from the FSA register.
Mr Taylor, who ran Independent Mutual, had been waiting to be deauthorised since March.
He said: “The whole retail distribution review thing has made a lot of my advisers decide to pack up and others decide to go to the big organisations for the big perceived protection. I have ended up having to close down after eight years, but trying to deregister is a nightmare.”